Palestinians killed as world protests over Jerusalem

A wounded protester is evacuated during confrontations with Israeli forces at Bureij refugee camp, central Gaza Strip, on 8 December. 

Ashraf Amra APA images

Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during protests in the Gaza Strip on Friday and a baby was fighting for his life after he was injured by Israeli bombing on the territory. Two fighters were announced to have been killed by Israeli bombing early Saturday.

Mahmoud al-Masri, 30, and Maher Atallah, 54, died of their injuries during protests along Gaza’s boundary with Israel after a “Day of Rage” was declared to protest Wednesday’s announcement by US President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Another 153 protesters in the territory were injured, three of them seriously, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society reported 767 injuries during protests in the occupied West Bank, including 61 injuries by live fire, 200 by rubber-coated bullets and nearly 500 injuries as a result of tear gas.

The streets of Hebron were filled with the sound of Israeli fire on Friday:
Israeli forces forcibly dispersed Palestinians at Damascus Gate, the northern entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City:
Chants of defiance rang out at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque on Friday:
Israeli police assaulted shopkeepers and other Palestinians in Jerusalem’s Old City:
Confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli forces broke out at Huwwara checkpoint south of Nablus in the northern West Bank:
And at the checkpoint near the Beit El settlement, which is financed by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and the US president’s former bankruptcy lawyer and ambassador to Israel, David Friedman:
Eight journalists were reported injured by Israeli forces while covering Jerusalem protests throughout the West Bank.

A photo circulated on social media showing an Israeli police officer assaulting cameraman Rajai al-Khatib outside the Damascus Gate to Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday:

An ABC News cameraman was also hit by Israeli forces:
Fifteen Palestinians were injured as Israel bombed the Gaza Strip late Friday after a rocket fired from the territory landed in the southern Israeli town of Sderot, damaging cars but causing no injuries.

Two other rockets were launched from Gaza on Friday; Israel said one was intercepted by its missile defense system and another fell short of Israeli territory.

The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza announced that a 6-month-old baby, Yousif Abu Shakyan, was critically injured in one of the Israeli strikes.

Two fighters with the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, were killed in an early morning strike on Gaza City.

The slain fighters were identified as Mahmoud al-Attal, 28, and Muhammad al-Safadi, 30.

Israeli forces fire on Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on 8 December.

Wisam Hashlamoun APA images

The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting on Friday with all of the body’s 15 members – except for the United States – repudiating Trump’s stated plans to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

US ambassador Nikki Haley was the sole defender of Trump’s announcement, reiterating that no position has been taken on boundaries and borders concerning Jerusalem:
While Palestinians protesting Trump’s announcement met with Israeli military brutality, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said it would likely take two years or longer to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“This is not something that is going to happen this year, or probably not next year,” Tillerson said in Paris, where he was attending the International Support Group for Lebanon.

Meanwhile Dina Powell, a senior Middle East policy adviser to Trump who is said to have played a key role in his administration’s attempts to forge an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, has quit her post.

A bizarre exchange at the State Department’s press briefing on Thursday indicates that the White House has not exactly worked out the material ramifications of Trump’s announcement.

David Satterfield, acting assistant secretary for Near East affairs, and State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert refused to say whether the US considers Jerusalem to be in the country of Israel, though the US now recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel:

The State Department has said that it won’t be revising longstanding US policy that bars American citizens born in Jerusalem from identifying “Israel” as their place of birth on their passports. US citizens born in Jerusalem before the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948 are allowed to list “Jerusalem, Palestine” as their birthplace.

Nor will US government maps identify the city as “Jerusalem, Israel” anytime soon.

But according to The Electronic Intifada contributor Budour Youssef Hassan, the future of Jerusalem will be determined in the streets by its Palestinian residents, and not by anyone in the White House:

Hassan told Democracy Now! that Friday’s protests were not just a reaction to Trump’s announcement but against decades of Israeli military occupation in the city.

“It’s about an entire system that has denied Palestinians their rights,” she stated. “And [with] this declaration, to be honest, many of us are a bit relieved that we are finally seeing the true face of these so-called US-Israel shared values.”

She added: “A nation like the United States, that has been built on colonization, it’s only natural for them to support another colonizer state in Israel.”

Hassan called for the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority, which feigned outrage over Trump’s announcement, and the nullification of the Oslo accords signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in the mid-1990s.

“We cannot take the anger of the Palestinian Authority seriously while it continues to recognize Israel and the legitimacy of the Israeli state,” she said.

Palestinians and their supporters all over the world held protests to reject US and Israeli designs on Jerusalem.

Demonstrators marched through downtown Chicago in support of Palestinians in Jerusalem on Thursday night:

Protesters convened in Philadelphia:
And in Tangier, Morocco:
Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon:
Kabul, Afghanistan:
New York City:
This story has been updated since original publication to include the deaths of two Hamas fighters in Israeli bombing.


Maureen Clare Murphy

Maureen Clare Murphy's picture

Maureen Clare Murphy is senior editor of The Electronic Intifada.